A Difficult Task

Have you ever been “called” by God to undertake a difficult task? Recently I met with a young woman in my office. She came by because she had been called to a “difficult task.” The “call” required her to first say yes to going to a foreign country, China. Not just to go to China, but to go to a remote place not for a month or two months, but for 2 years.

She will spend that two years with an unreached people group who speak a variation of Chinese, a different dialect, that she will have to learn in order to share the message of Christ. While sitting in my office she shared the difficult task she was facing in stepping out of her comfort zone to raise support (money and prayer) to answer the call that Jesus had place on her life.

It was pretty amazing to sit and attentively listen to her tell me about her willingness to obey. The details of what she had said yes to doing, the call on her life, were a little overwhelming for me to even hear. As she talked and walked me through her journey to that point of her now sitting in my office…I couldn’t help but think of the story of Noah!

Noah was found righteous by God. Genesis 6:8, “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.” Because Noah “was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God,” the Lord chose to spare him and his family. At the time the earth was corrupt. Genesis 6:11, “Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence.”

In verse 13 and following, we find God’s solution to the corruption. “So God said to Noah, ‘I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both of them and the earth. So make yourself an ark….'”

If you are familiar with the story, you know Noah was given the overwhelming task of building an ark big enough to hold two of every kind of living creature plus his family. Careful study shows that the ark was 450 feet long and took around 75 years to build. (There are different studies that say different things but these numbers seem to be the most accurate.) A daunting task. I can’t imagine the undertaking. But if you truly think about the “call” for Noah, it was to save his life and his family and affect generations to come.

Point of post…has God called you to build an “ark?”

I believe there is an “ark” for everyone to build. For the young woman sitting in my office that day her ark involves traveling to the mountains of China, raising support, leaving all the comforts of home and family and go to an unknown, inconvenient place. It is my belief that if you are righteous…meaning a believer in Jesus…then He calls you to build an “ark!”

It is my personal experience that the “arks” He calls us to build are way out of our “comfort zone”. Why? Because if it were easy, how in the word would we see God? If we could do it easily, there would be no dependence on God nor leaning into Him instead of our own understanding.

For some time in the Front 9 of life I bought the lie that only a few people are called to build “arks”. Today, on the back 9, I am sure God’s plan for every believer is to build an “ark” of some kind in obedience to a Holy God. Of course, I am not God….and can’t even begin to know what kinds of “arks” He has for everyone to build. But as I study scripture in depth, I am convinced that if you are a child of God,

He has an “ark” for you to build.

It could be adoption, mentoring, giving money, moving, intervening in a horrible situation and getting your hands dirty, quitting your current job to do something completely different. Only God can reveal the ark He has for you to build…but I am sure He has one.

Studying the story of Noah…God gave specific instructions and He provided.

It doesn’t mean the task wasn’t difficult.
It doesn’t mean it didn’t take a long time.
It doesn’t mean Noah didn’t face persecution.
It doesn’t mean that it wasn’t HARD work.

But today, if you could ask Noah if it was worth it, what do you think his answer would be? Every time I see a rainbow…I think of God’s faithfulness and provision and covenant…but I also think of the disgust He has for wicked people…who were violent and didn’t acknowledge Him.

I encourage you today…to surrender your life to Jesus…to seek Him in all that you do. To open your hand and your life…to the “Ark” He has for you. God always has your greater good in mind…His best, His abundance and His faithfulness.

But remember, it is His call, not ours. He will be with us and He will go before and behind us. One of the most amazing ways to experience God and His power is to be faithful to obey…and “build an ARK”. It will affect generations to come.

Many stories in the Bible show the impact previous generations have on the future when they choose not to follow God completely. Look at 2 Chronicles 34:21, “…Great is the Lord’s anger that is poured out on us because those who have gone before us have not kept the word of the Lord; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written in this book.”

Move when God moves. He will be with you as He was with Moses in Exodus 33:14-16. “The Lord replied, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’ Then Moses said to him, ‘If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?’”

Now go build that ark!

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